I’m currently working as GP registrar and have four months to go on the employment agreement with my training practice. I have recently received my fellowship notification. What does this mean in terms of my current employment arrangement?

The NTCER outlines your minimum employment terms and conditions

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Receiving notice of attainment of fellowship from your medical college (ACRRM or RACGP) still requires subsequent actions from you to become formally vocationally registered. If this has not occurred then you may not be registered for your VR Medicare Provider Number.

Therefore, if you wish to continue to work in general practice and bill Medicare, you will need to be employed under registrar conditions to continue to use your registrar (3GA) Medicare Provider Number. This is done through an “Extension Awaiting Fellowship” arrangement, according to the AGPT Extension of Training Time Policy (category 5.2) and organised via your RTO, until such time as all VR paperwork is in place and you have received your new VR provider number.

In this circumstance, it would be entirely reasonable to renegotiate the terms and conditions of your employment during this “awaiting fellowship” period.

While still subject to the NTCER, you will no longer have supervision requirements and adjustments in your share and/or frequency of payment of percentage billings (and/or other terms and conditions) could be considered so as to be more aligned with what would be offered for consultant GPs. This is also consistent with provisions in the NTCER (section 2), in that the: “registrar and employer may negotiate terms and conditions different from those outlined [in the NTCER] by mutual agreement, provided they are no less favourable to the registrar”.

Once your vocational registration paperwork and subsequent Medicare Provider Number is in place then neither you nor your practice are subject to remaining under the conditions set out in the NTCER.

This situation is something practices and registrars should be mindful of when reaching this point of training. A respectful discussion/negotiation between the registrar and practice is highly recommended, well in advance, particularly if you intend on leaving the practice either prior to or once you are vocationally registered.